I am an amputee, and when I don’t have my prosthetic on, I am at a disadvantage. It’s hard for me to remember running races or being able to play kick ball or even stepping up a curb without stopping to adjust to the terrain. People who know me can attest to the fact that I always have my prosthetic on. I walk. I move myself every day, because I love being able to walk.
Mrs. James is a client I met almost a year ago. It broke my heart when I heard her say that she has been in a wheelchair for six years. Her life has been changed because she is not able to stand and walk more than a few steps. Her problem started after a surgery. Pain kept her from getting up and moving. Since she hasn’t walked in such a long time she has become weak and uses a wheelchair.
Lets take a walk down memory lane. When was the last time you stumbled while walking? I often hear people joke about having two left feet, or the ever popular, “did you see that crack in the side walk jump up and grab my foot?” If you hear yourself or someone else say these things frequently then its time to pay attention. Most people can use a device to make walking easier or safer. Others need more intense action.
Being able to walk is taken for granted by most of us. From the moment we take off on two legs as a toddler till we have something happen that threatens that ability. There are a few things that can be done to improve or regain the ability to walk.
The first step, is believing. It is important to get your mind made up that you will be able to improve your strength and balance. If you don’t see it happening, then it will impact your progress. It has to become so important to you, that any amount of effort, energy or pain is worth it to you.
The second step, is doing exercises that will impact your ability to walk. There are specific actions that will impact balance and posture and improve the smoothness of your movements. These actions can be assigned by your therapy staff or you can talk to us about joining a free Matter of Balance class. Our Home Care Aides can work with you to help you accomplish your goals as well.
Strength only improves when you do real work. As someone speaking from experience, walking is worth the work. Keep your head up, tighten your core muscles and swing your arms. You may not move fast enough to feel the wind in your hair, but you will go places and see the people that you love.